Fitness or Fat?

Have you ever taken a fitness or martial arts class and the instructor is overweight? Perhaps you have friends that talk to you about fitness and working out, but they are also overweight. Your body is your testament to the lifestyle. In a real sense your body is your business card in this area. If you’re overweight or obese, you will have no credibility in convincing others about the positive benefits of fitness, unless you have lost a significant amount of weight already.

If you want your body to be your business card or really want to be fit. First, you need to begin to educate yourself. Learn everything you can about fitness and related issues. As you learn, remember that what may work for one, mostly in terms of building muscle mass, man or woman, may not work for you.

Drive for it! Desire it! was one of our websites motto’s for a long time. You must find within yourself the desire to begin the process. Perhaps unbelievably, you can potentially look like those men and women on the cover of health and fitness magazines. Bodybuilding may be a different story, but getting ripped like a cheetah or lean is a doable process.

Second, I want you to envision what you want to look like and begin your path toward that goal. Find a quiet corner in the park, museum, library, or peaceful place and with a pad and pen I want you to prioritize your goals in fitness and health for the next 2 years. What kind of fitness journey do you wish to take? Catalog all the potential types of workouts and exercise types you like then, choose 4-5 of them and plot out an initial 90-day course of action.

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There are so many types to choose from that you may feel like a kid in a candy store, but that’s the idea – get excited. Ask yourself, “Would you rather be walking and jogging when you’re 60 or stuck behind a walker? We’ve all seen such people; you do not need to end up like that.

Third, variety is the key. Switch your workouts every few weeks to do something different or add something different to your current workout. The 3 sets of 8 reps in the gym of multiple exercises is an okay way to go initially, but you’ll need to step up your intensity with time and, adding variety will help.

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Learn to stretch through a full range of motion – quads/hip flexors, lower back and shoulder/lats.

Fourth and finally, once you get going and have some strength built up, you need to be able to test yourself. There are five exercises that are good for doing this and they require little equipment.

1. Pullups (shoot for 10 in one set);
2. Split Squat Jumps (try to reach 12 in one set);
3. Bulgarian Split Squats (like a split squat, but rear leg instep is atop a flat bench – squat so front leg is horizontal); have a goal of 18 in one set;
4. Burpees (try to do 15 at one time); and
5. Pushups (attempt 40 in one set)

Perform these exercises about twice per week or every 4 days. The goal is to do as many as you can in one set. Monitor your numbers for about 90 days. At some point, you will not be able to increase any more, but at least you have a goal. And, for the numbers listed above, unless you’re fit already, it will likely take a few weeks to approach some of the one set totals. Remember your nutrition as well and practice your meal frequency. What are you waiting for? Explore it!

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